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BlogPodium // A Quick Recap of an Amazing Day

CONNECTION. CONVERSATION. COLLABORATION. BlogPodium is conference series that brings design & lifestyle bloggers, marketers, and the design community together.

Blogging is an amazing thing. Whether you’re a food blogger, mommy blogger, lifestyle blogger or interior design blogger, we all can agree that blogging is an amazing creative outlet with one huge benefit – the sense of community it builds. We get to know each other through written words on a blog, photos on Instagram, status updates on Facebook, and a few short sentence on Twitter. And then every once a while we are presented with an opportunity to meet each other. This past Saturday I had the opportunity to meet up with some old blogging friends, new blogging friends, and even meet some pretty awesome bloggers I didn’t know existed at BlogPodium.

Apart from being an attendee I was also in charge of keeping the #BlogPodium conversation going online; managing the @BlogPodium Twitter handle and keeping followers engaged and aware of all the awesomeness that was happening in each session. Midday, I was able to give my fingers a rest as I moderated a panel discussion on “Using Social Media to Grow Your Business” with Meredith Heron and Neil Gazmen. It was an insightful conversation, and attendees learned you can make the leap to “selling” using social media.

With such a wealth of knowledge shared throughout the day, I pulled together some of the most important tidbits and tips from all the sessions I attended…

Sarah Richardson BlogPodium Keynote
  • A business grows out of passion. You have to give everything your EVERYTHING to get in the door. 
  • I do not have a degree. I never call my self an interior designer. I have learned what I know by doing it!
  • When I was a kid, if I got sent to my room, I would just rearrange the furniture. (via @nataliediscala)
  • The best thing you can do is get out there and do it! That’s how you learn. That’s how you grow.
  • Be kind to people. Inspire people. Think about the purpose of your message. Use it to make the world better.
  • Never forget the written word is a powerful thing. (via @erinletson)
  • After 5 months. 14 Renos. 29 rooms. 28 homeowners. I survived “Real Potential!
  • Whether it’s your blog or your designs, you should have a signature style. Who are you? Does it reflect you?
  • Remember the words you say, where they go and who they touch. (via @TonicLiving)
  • Make a statement & make it fun using accessories. Throw pillows, handmade art, area rugs are easy to change.
  • Design memorable spaces. If its all too perfect then maybe there’s nothing to talk about. (via @RamblingReno)
  • Incorporate spirit and texture… and whimsy. Don’t take yourself to seriously – sometimes whimsy is fun!
  • When they walk in, clients should feel like they’ve taken a deep breath & can’t wait to enjoy their home. (via @lisa_canning)
  • If you’re not comfortable in your home, no one will be comfortable in your home. (via @homeon129acres)
  • Design that works and design that lasts is not always expensive.
  • If you keep second guessing yourself you’ll never get anything done (via @lucidcreative)
  • Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t.
  • Have a life. Live your life. Enjoy your life. Love your life. (via @Ness84)

Stephanie Sterjovski BlogPodium Speaker
  • Getting Started with Blogging: Naming Your Blog. Investment. Design. Picking a Platform.
  • There are many great blog designers out there who will help you get started. Rates start from $150 & go up. 
  • Registering a domain is important. It makes it easier for your readers, it looks great on your business card.
  • Don’t start a blog to make money, start it because you love it (via @HeatherNHeels)
  • Original content is king. It is what will make your readers come back every day. (via @lisa_canning)
  • Learn about photography and graphic design. It will help to enhance your blog.
  • Be authentic. Be consistent. Be real.
  • A content calendar is super important. If you’re only posting once a week your readers will not return. 
  • The trust you have with your readers is the most important thing. (via @dreamhouseproj)
  • Networking Etiquette: Send a Hello. Do Your Research. Ask the Right Questions. The Magic of Weak Ties. 
  • While it’s nice to work with brands, at the end of the day you’re making those brands money… (via @lealou)
  • 3 Things to Remember: Don’t start a blog to make money.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  Stay true to yourself and your brand.
Old Media, New Media BlogPodium Panel
  • “In the early years the Canadian magazine industry was just that. Now magazines have a global reach.” @margotaustin
  • “Magazines and blogs are similar in the sense that you are writing, styling photo shoots and editing.” @marionhousebook
  • “I learned everything on the job by being willing to work hard and long hours.” @margotaustin
  • “It’s invaluable to be able to speak directly to readers daily.” @margotaustin (via @KekaD)
  • “With social as a focus magazines now have the opportunity to speak to readers daily, which shapes content” @margotaustin (via @E_M_I)
  • “New media, social media is still about storytelling.” @CovetGarden (via @ChloeBerge)
  • “House & Home is very multi-platform, but the print magazine still accounts for 90% of the brand footprint.” @margotaustin 
  • “Connecting with bloggers impacts print media” @margotaustin (via @JudyBeeksma)
  • “If you’re not going to be able to invest the time into a social platform, don’t use it.” @LeighAnnAllaire
  •  “I can fall into a Pinterest hole for a whole afternoon… and be SO happy.” @CovetGarden (via @MoneyPitLove)
  • “How much time is spent creating content vs. promoting content? Content creation is a full time job!” @CovetGarden
  • “We connect w/ bloggers who have strengths that complement our own brand and aesthetics.” @margotaustin
  • “Print is still viewed as a creative work of excellence. Bloggers strive to “be in print” & appreciate the value.” @margotaustin
Grow Your Business Using Social Media at BlogPodium
  • “Streamline your posting process: use Instagram to process photos and then auto-post those to Twitter & Facebook. Also use those photos in your blog posts” @MeredithHeron
  • “In my opinion, social media is relationship building first, selling second.” @MyDailyRndmness
  • “I’ve acquired new clients minutes after posting images to Instagram.” @MeredithHeron
  • “Instagram is our largest source of engagement. New items received in-store & posted to Instagram often sell out.” @ngazmen
  • “You can make money from social media. I’ve made over $1 million in sales from my interactions on social media since 2011.” @MeredithHeron
  • “Some of my best friends and loyal customers I have met through social media.” @ngazmen
  • “I am now in charge of training other store managers on how to interact on social media.” @ngazmen
  • “Your business needs a happy, passionate employee to inject personality into your brand. Use SM to show you’re human too!” @MyDailyRndmness
  • “Don’t paint ur wall school bus yellow, it’s a serial killer colour” @meredithheron (via @JonChiriboga)

Karen Bertelsen BlogPodium Speaker
  • Devote an hour a week to promoting your projects. Submit your posts and projects to other websites.
  • If you want to make money or want to partner with a brand, you need to show you’re engaged with your readers.
  • Be sure to check your Google PageRank. The higher your pagerank, the more you will make per click in Adsense. 
  • Links from large, established sites help build your PageRank.
  • Cost Per Thousand Impressions. If a CPM is $2.50/CPM, you’ll make $2.50 per every thousand views.
  • If you’re looking to join a vertical network ask about their CPM, fill rate, and how long the contract is for.
  • You need a lot of traffic to make a living off your website, but you need to invest time and build up traffic.
  • Start selling ads on your site now. Etsy shop owners will be looking for blogs to place Christmas ads.
  • Stick with it, and ignore the banana. #FineAdvice
  • Writing for an online magazine = $0.50/word. Writing for print magazine = $1.00/word.
  • Photos for an online magazine = $25-$50. Photos for a print magazine $150-$1,500.
  • If it’s good enough to be put in magazine, it’s good enough for you to be paid for it  (via @northstoryCA)
  • If you look at your blog as a business, it will become a business.”

And of course, after the party came the after-party. The reception was an event not to be missed! Lots of bubbly, sushi and photobooth fun!

BlogPodium 2013 Organization and Planning Team

We can’t forgot to thank Jennifer and the rest of the very hard working BlogPodium team, for once again organizing this phenomenal event. Everything from the swag bags + bloggers “black book” directory, to their scouting of some sensational sponsors, panelists, and guest speakers. Way to go everyone – I am already looking forward to BlogPodium 2014!

If you could only pick one, what was your one most important take-away from BlogPodium?

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